The Pritzker’s Speech and Debate Team Number One Novice

Speech and Debate team together, smiling with Nadia Segura and her birthday poster Photo credit: Charles Rosentel

By Bryanna Delgado’18 and Yaneet  Rodriguez’18

On February 24 the Pritzker debate team  had top Novice, top Varsity speakers, and top three Novice teams at the Chicago Debate League Maroon Conference Championship.

The main claim that the debate team had to argue was whether or not the US government should fund schools for a change in regulations. From that they were split into four different topics: Charters, STEM, English language learners, and Federal funding inequality.

In this competition, 12 Pritzker students competed at Noble Academy.

The two teams went undefeated; Gregorio Chavez, freshman,  the top Novice speaker, and partner, Bryan Zumba, sophomore, the 8th ranked speaker, finished in 1st; Maria Ramirez, sophomore,  the 11th ranked speaker, and first-time debater Lizette Benavides, sophomore, finished 2nd.

In Varsity, Nadia Segura, senior, won the top speaker award and Emily Pereznegron, sophomore, 3rd place.

Segura had also won the judge-nominated Robin Williams Award for her dedication and inventiveness.

Competing together for the first time, Joshua Soto, senior,  and Cristian Ortiz, sophomore, defeated a team from Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School.

While competing, Soto  stated, “At times I felt great and nervous because  I was confident that I was going to win the round and in the other hand, I was more of a toss up.”

“I prepared by going to practice, going over the cases we were running and going over any new cases that we can used against other teams,” explained Soto.

“Overall I felt great because it was a long day of debate and the team really took it out, plus the little surprise we threw for Nadia, it was amazing,” stated Chavez.

During their lunch break, there was a little surprise for Segura. It was a celebration for her because her birthday was the next day, Sunday.

They ended up competing against Aumenson, Noble Academy, Michelle Clark, Ferraget, and Lakeview.

Soto stated that debate teaches you how to speak and how to “assert yourself when having a conversation” and the reason for why to have a debate is to “enlighten the minds of young men and women.”

Segura ranked as the top speaker in all of their rounds with one exception, when Pereznegron ranked number one in a debate, which all four competitors received a very rare perfect 30, judges score and rank every speaker.

If you are interested in the debate competitions, you can go and visit Rosentel’s website, he takes pictures and uploads what’s happening during the competitions.